We’ve had a lot of rain recently, and it hasn’t really felt like summer for much of the time. While I really miss the sunshine and the warmth, Brian the Boxer revels in this kind of weather.
The main reason why Brian doesn’t enjoy warm weather is that he is a brachycephalic, a flat-faced dog.
Some breeds, like Boxers, but also the increasingly popular Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs, have been bred to emphasize certain features that appeal to people, like large eyes and wrinkled foreheads (basically a worried baby look). This was achieved by shortening the muzzle bones, but the skin and soft tissue in those areas did not decrease accordingly, and this has resulted in narrower airways, hence breathing problems.
As we know dogs lose heat primarily through panting. Brian has more problems panting than Casey, our Labrador, due to the shape of his mouth and airways. So Casey cools down more efficiently.
We’ve had a few hot days this summer, which gave us the opportunity to test a ‘wet jacket’ on Brian. This jacket slowly releases water, which has a cooling effect. Brian seems fine with it, and you’ll agree that he looks good too.
Please be aware that all flat-faced dogs need extra attention and care when it is warm. We often take Brian for swims rather than walks, and although he prefers to splash rather swim, it does cool him down.
Karen & Harry